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    The rally was organized by the Polish Zmiana political party, and urged Poles not to buy goods produced by Roshen, the confectionary company owned by the Ukrainian president.

    Polish activists held demonstrations in Warsaw and other Polish cities on Wednesday, campaigning against the sale of confectionary products produced by Roshen, the company owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    As well as a political dimension, the protest also aimed to raise awareness that Poroshenko's Roshen, which is seeking to expand into markets in Eastern Europe, uses harmful ingredients in its confectionary, organizer Mateusz Piskorski told Sputnik.

    The interview given to Sputnik by organizer Mateusz Piskorski.

    The activists gave out flyers and informational material to customers at stores in cities across Poland, informing them about the company, and the damaging content of the confectionary it produces.

    "The majority of Poles didn't know that this firm belongs to Poroshenko," explained Piskorski.

    "Many pointed out that they resolutely prefer to buy Polish confectionary produce. A lot of them also asserted that this situation, in which the president of a country is at the same time an oligarch, carrying out expansion into certain markets, is twisted." 

    "This kind of situation is very difficult to imagine in Poland or in any other European country, when the president is at the same time a businessman, carrying on his own personal affairs."  

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko waves as he takes part in a testing flight onboard a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft during his working trip to Zaporizhia region on the Day of Defender of Ukraine, October 14, 2015
    © REUTERS / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Mykola Lazarenko/Pool
    The demonstrations in Poland took place on October 14, the same day as a meeting held in Kiev dedicated to the 73th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA], a paramilitary organization that fought against the Poles and Soviet forces during the Second World War. 

    The date is a state holiday in Ukraine, called 'the Day of Defender of Ukraine,' after a decree signed by President Poroshenko on October 14 2014. 

    "It is not a coincidence," Piskorski told Sputnik. 

    "The date of the protest is of course symbolic. It is connected with the fact that on the one hand, President Poroshenko during his 2014 presidential campaign promised to stop his commercial activity, and sell his shares in Roshen. He still hasn't done that. He still remains one of Ukraine's biggest oligarchs."

    "He uses the political rhetoric of Banderov, rhetoric addressed to the murderers of the UPA, an organization of Ukrainian nationalists, in order to legalize his power as a state ideology," explained Piskorski.

    The second reason for the protest is due to health concerns, said the organizer, warning that "health agencies for several years have made repeated statements about the harmful ingredients that are used in Roshen products." 

    In particular, said Piskorski, in 2013 testing of Roshen products discovered the presence of benzopyrene, a potent mutagen and carcinogen that is also found in tobacco smoke.

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    Poland, protest, Roshen, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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